by Alan B. and Robert Alan B.
2 Corinthians 4:8-11:
8) “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but no in despair;
9) Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10) Always bearing about in the body the di\ying of the LORD Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifest in our body.
11) For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”
In this world in which we live, we are bombarded with a continual stream of evils through our thoughts, eyes, ears, and sensations. The introductory scripture in the beginning of this article tell us.
However, those who don’t care about God mock His children who do care about obeying, pleasing, and serving Him in all that they do. Let’s look at several scriptures:
4) “Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scoffing of those who are at east and with the contempt of the proud.”
32) “The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.”
Isaiah 57:20, 21:
20) “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
21) There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”
2 Thessalonians 1:4-10:
4) “So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure.
5) This is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer,
6) Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7) And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ;
9) Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power,
10) When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”
One answer, it would seem, concerning how to respond to this contempt is for the Christian to praise God. Even when God commanded His people to go so war against their enemies, there was a tribe of Levites who sang praises to God during the battle! That explains one way that God “went before” His people against their enemies—when they praised Him!
6) “Not by [your] might; not by [your] power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
If we are truly His, our bodies are His temple. Why would God inhabit a run-down, shoddy temple in which He was not continually praised?
[Note: “God” and Lord” are not the name of our Creator, those are titles. God’s primary name, the Name which He gave us to call upon Him is Yahweh, which means, “I exist”’ popularized in one verse as translated, “I am that I am.” The implied meaning is , “I am self-existent; I am all Power; everything exists by My Will”. Likewise, “Christ” is not Jesus’ last name. Christ is a title. Jesus’ Name is Yehoshua, which means, “Yahweh saves”. If we are going to praise Him and pray to Him to claim His Promises, it behooves us to know His Name and with it to call upon and praise Him. Scripture says, “there is no other name given among men whereby they must be saved”. Would you want someone to call you by a different name or a mere title?—especially someone who is a close friend or family member? Christ Yehoshua said, “ask in My Name”. It is nothing mystical or magical; it is simple obedience and respect.]
It needs to be realized that in all of Psalm 145 David is praising Yahweh—and he praised God every day, continually. Psalms 146, 147, 148, 149, and 150 all start out praising the Lord. It was David’s idea to build the Lord a fitting Temple, to replace a mere tabernacle of skins. Is it any wonder why David was so blessed? David is the only person whom God referred to as “a man after His Own Heart” (I Samuel 14:14). Even as a shepherd, David played the harp and sang—and we can probably safely assume that the songs that he played and sang were not secular tunes of the day, but songs that praised God.
In the Gospel of John 16:1-7, Jesus tells His disciples that He must go away, and sorrow fill their hearts; but in verse 7 He tells them that He will send another Comforter to them (the Holy Spirit). There is a noticeable pattern, at times, in Scripture, that after sorrow comes, joy will follow—if God’s people had faith and live in obedience to what God commanded. In verse 20, Jesus tells them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you. That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned to joy.”
In verse 21, Jesus gives the example of a woman in pregnancy suffering travail—the suffering leads up to the delivering of the child, but as soon as the child is delivered the mother remembers the anguish no more for joy has filled her through her child, and the pain and suffering becomes but a fading memory. In verse 22, Christ then explains, “And ye now therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice and your joy no man will take away from you.”
Thus, there is this dichotomy that God has designed to teach us to trust Him stay close to Him; and to test us:
- Where there is sorrow, joy can be right around the corner.
- Where there is love, hatred is not far away.
- Where there is good, evil lurks nearby.
- Where there is a shadow it is proof that light is there too.
Scripture exhorts us:
James 5:7b, 8a:
7) “...Behold, the husbandman waitest for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8) Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts…”
Though this passage specifically refers to our patiently awaiting Christ’s Return while being faithful, the principle that it teaches can be applied to other areas as well.
[Realize: There is nothing that we can do to “speed up” Christ’s Return—other than pray that God brings His people to repentance so that He will hear our prayers and Christ will come to deliver us.]
However, sadly, there are some people who are so wicked that they purposely wrong others, and thereby bring sorrow into other people’s lives. Jesus exhorted:
Matthew 5:11, 12:
11) “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all menner of ebil against you falsely, for My sake.
12) Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Thus, when one finds himself in such a situation, first of all, he needs to be certain that he is actually suffering for righteousness’s sake, and not reaping judgments for sin sown—but even if reaping ones just rewards, God can turn it to good if he repents.
1 Peter 2:19-25:
19) “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endured grief, suffering wrongfully.
20) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for yourfor your faults, ye shall take it patiently.; but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Chrsit also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:
22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His Mouth:
23) Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:
24) Who His Own Self bare our sins in His Own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.
25) For ye were as sheep going astry; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”
1 Peter 4:19:
19) “Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the Will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a Faithful Creator.”
Therefore, when you suffer—-fear not! Praise Yahweh. We are so commanded.
1 Thessalonians 5:16, 18:
16) “Rejoice evermore.
18) In everything give thanks for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Philippians 4:6, 7:
6) “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7) And the Peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Paul and Silas sang praises in prison, even after having been unjustly arrested and even beaten. Peter wrote:
1 Peter 4:12-15:
12) “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding you.
14) If ye be reproached for the Name of Christ, happy are ye, for the Spirit of Glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.
15) But let none of you suffer as [be guilty of being]…[a criminal or troublemaker in any way].”
- Romans 6:12, 13;
- Galatians 5:16;
- 1 John 2:4;
- Matthew 5:17-19;
- John 14:15;
- John 15:10; and
- Romans 3:31.
Therefore, whenever the evils and sorrows of this world force themselves upon you...first Praise God. Trust in Him. Search your own heart to be certain that you are not suffering for your own sinfulness—and if you are, repent and obey and god will turn it to good.
28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according His Purpose.”
Now, you may ask, Why would we praise God when we or a loved one is suffering from an accident or a disease such as cancer?
First of all—because God commands it.
Secondly, God will only bless those of His children who are living honorable and is obedience to Him.
God will only bless those of His children who honor Him; who truly believe that He is the Creator of the Universe; who believe that all things are in His Hands; and who believe that if they trust and obey Him, He will hear their prayers and deliver and bless them. God’s Fore-knowledge is not passive—He has determined all things.
10) “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My Counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.”
24) “Surely as I have thought, so shall it came to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.”
Those who will be blessed are only those who believe that He “doeth all things well” (Mark 7:37) and who believe that He does not merely engage in “damage control” in working all things for our good post facto—but that He has actually planned all things.
Those who reject God’s Sovereignty reject His Word (and thus reject Him): It seems as foolishness unto them, because they are fools who think that their own faulty notions overrule God’s Own Self-Revelation. Christ said, “Be it unto you according to your faith”. Faith is a gift from the Holy spirit based upon the facts of God’s Word. Those who believe other than what God said, those who believe that God is less than He is, have pseudo-faith; and Scripture says, “whatsoever is not of faith [including false doctrine] is sin”.
Praising God during trying times exercises faith, and that is honorable to God—which demonstrates that we know that not only is He aware of the circumstances, but that He is in complete control of all circumstances. Failing to praise God is actually exercising doubt; and when one holds on to ones pain and loss and suffering for bitterness, lack of faith, etc.) then his hands are full of what he refuses to let go of and cannot receive what God has to give to him—including deliverance and blessing. The longer that one persists in withholding praise and the exercise of faith, the longer he delays his own deliverance, healing, and joy. However, remember:
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4:
1) “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven,
4) A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
Remember Christ’s Promises—and that your Heavenly Father knows your needs before you even ask—but you should ask in faith believing. God has obligated Himself by His Promises one has to actually believe His Word and be walking in obedience to all that He commanded—that is what recognizing Him as “Lord” means.
Lord is not merely a word used in a hymn in church: It is submitting to Him in all areas as He commanded. Those who do not, reveal that He is not their Lord. Christ Himself chided, “why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say” (Luke 6:46).
When you read the Bible, keep in mind that you are reading what the God of the Universe wrote to you; and believe it obey and praise Him. Recognize the pattern in the Bible that God honored those who obeyed, trusted, and praised Him, and He chastised those who disobeyed, disbelieved, and grumbled and complained.
Christ summed up the keeping of the whole Law as God Commanded, calling it the First and Greatest Commandment— “thou shalt love the Lord thy God all thy heart, and with all thy soul, (and with all thy strength), and with all thy mind”. Love does not replace obedience; and is not a feeling. Love is obedience/self-sacrifice. Praising God is part of obedience since He commanded it and since He and He alone is due all obedience, worship, and praise.